The following comes from a May 9 Edhat article:
As Junipero Serra is schedule to become a Catholic Saint, many Native Americans, including the Chumash, oppose the sainthood claiming a misrepresentation of mission history.
The pope is scheduled to proclaim the Spaniard a saint during his first U.S. visit to Washington, D.C. on Sept. 23.
The American Indian Movement of Southern California (AIMSC) disagrees with the sainthood of Serra. “Many of the Native peoples were forced into slave labor and lived in the compounds of the mission sites, used to develop the structures and then breathe life into them. It’s also long been known that uncountable numbers of Natives were held against their will…” states the AIMSC in a recent press release.
“The Vatican’s decision to canonize Junipero Serra validates the genocide of California Indians. We cannot ever forget our ancestors, and the truth shall be heard. Our truth is our light of healing and moving toward self determination,” stated Marcus Lopez , Sr., Barbareno Chumash Tribal ‘Iyalmumic Council.
In opposition of the Pope’s plans, the Barbareno Chumash Tribal ‘lyalmuwic Council and the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation will lead a weekend of cultural reverence and resistance to the notion of Serras’ Canonization; highlighted by a ceremony to honor the more than 4,000 ancestors who lost their lives who are buried in a mass grave site.
The ceremony will be outside the Santa Barbara Mission, May 31.